Tag Archives: United States

Pearl Harbor


We decided to revisit Pearl Harbor while on Oahu for vacation. We decided to do the FREE Option, which includes:

  • Access to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center
  • The Exhibit Galleries:  “Road to War” and “Attack”
  • Other Interpretive Exhibits throughout the Facility (i.e. USS Arizona Bell)
  • The Remembrance Circle (a tribute to the men, women and children; both military and civilian, who were killed as a result of the attack on December 7, 1941)
  • View of the USS Arizona Memorial

A very somber and humbling experience as you walk the grounds and explore the exhibits. A great learning experience to learn more about this important part of U.S. history.

The U.S. Flag Waving In All Its Glory in the Remembrance Circle (Photo by RSheridan)

IMPORTANT Date in U.S. History (Photo by RSheridan)

Anchor from the USS Arizona (Photo by RSheridan)

Bell from the USS Arizona (Photo by RSheridan)

Aircraft Carrier in the Harbor (Photo by RSheridan)

Truly a Great Experience! Truly a Must See!

What’s in a Place

Unique & Unusual Places

When you travel do you wonder how some places got their unique and unusual character?

  • Bandon, Oregon
  • Bodie, California
  • Cannon Beach, Oregon
  • Death Valley in California
  • Frankenmuth, Michigan
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • Mackinac Island, Michigan
  • Mitchell, South Dakota
  • Nevada City, California
  • Red Wing, Minnesota
  • Solvang, California
  • Virginia City, Nevada

You have places from the unique to the unusual to the bizarre. You have places from the quaint to the charming to out of the norm. Then you have places you have NO IDEA what to make of it!

Maybe you live in a town with character!

Lassen Volcanic National Park (Photo by RSheridan)

Unique to Unusual to Bizarre

Bodie, California

A “True Western Ghost Town”. 1st You feel like your are in the middle of nowhere. 2nd The park’s history is interesting if not boderline eerie. 3rd You feel like you have stepped back in time. The park has a feeling of desertion and desolation and you stop and wonder “Where did all the people go?”. You almost want to step back in time during its heyday and really see it come to life.

Gas Station in Bodie (Photo by RSheridan)

Mitchell, South Dakota

Corn Palace Anyone? The exterior of the Corn Palace is decorated with real corn and other grains to form a mural or design.

For a town with a little over 15,000 people there is the Dakota Discovery Museum to explore too. The museum has the most complete and pristine collections of American Indian quill and bead works. The 1886 Victorian-Italianate home of the co-founder of the Corn Palace, Louis Beckwith, is located behind the museum. The Heritage Gardens Project which is bringing indigenous plants to the gardens surrounding the museum and historical buildings.

 Virginia City, Nevada

Virginia City is the oldest established community in Nevada and the town struck it rich in 1859 with the Comstock Lode. A fun destination that is steeped with mining history, historic people and places and may have a ghost or two still hanging out. You may want to make an extra stop while in town and check out the cemetery – some old grave markers in there.

Quaint to Charming to Out of the Norm

Bandon, Oregon

Bandon, Oregon was not on the radar on the trip to Coos Bay and the Oregon Coast. Ended up in the town because of Bullards Beach State Park and the Coquille River Lighthouse – were on a lighthouse frenzy one day. I wanted to check out the town because it looked quaint and charming – love to explore unusual places! I went into this gift shop called The Flying Pig and came out with a beautiful, handcrafted crab ornament.

Coquille River Lighthouse

Frankenmuth, Michigan

Welcome to the U.S. version of Bavaria. I have fond memories of Frankenmuth growing up, especially going into Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland for the first time. You will either become a Christmas addict or loathe Christmas after going through this place!

 Red Wing, Minnesota

Red Wing Shoes or Stoneware Anyone? I spent some time biking the Cannon Valley Trail when I visited the area – great place to be outdoors and become one with nature. The architecture is an impressive draw for people who visit the town too. I enjoyed checking out the shops and antique stores.

 Solvang, California

Velkommen! Solvang is the Danish Capital of America. Anyone see the movie Sideways by chance??? I checked out the  Hitching Post II to have a drink at the bar.

You want some danish goodness check out the bakeries in this town! I even went one step further and had potato pancakes while I was there too. Solvang is a great town to park and walk around to see the various shops, bakeries and restaurants. Remember to Check Out the Santa Barbara Wine Region when visiting this area!

Solvang (Photo by RSheridan)

Here’s a Fun Question! What Has Been the Most Interesting Place You Have Visited?

What’s in a Name

Unique & Unusual Place Names

When you travel do you wonder how some places got their names?

  • Boring, Oregon
  • Hopeulikit, Georgia
  • Jot ‘Em Down, Texas
  • Knockemstiff, Ohio
  • Looneyville in MN, NY, TX & WV
  • Nimrod, Minnesota
  • Nothing, Arizona
  • Rough and Ready, California
  • What Cheer, Iowa
  • Yazoo City, Mississippi

You have the unique to the unusual to the bizarre. You have the silly to the humorous to the wacky. Some place names have your mind heading straight south and into the gutter – ha!

Maybe you live in a place with a unique and unusual moniker!

IT Does Exist!

There is a Timbuctoo (Yuba County, California) in the United States!

A Historic Gold Mining Town today. It once was the largest town in eastern Yuba County that enjoyed its heyday in the 1850s due to hydraulic mining. Legend has it the town was named after Timbuktu in Mali.

The preservation of this town has not been a success. You can see the ruins of the Stewart Brothers Store/Wells Fargo Office. The Cemetery is still in use in this town.

Unique & Unusual

Nothing, Arizona

Nothing, Arizona (Mohave County) had four people who ran a gas stop and garage, which included rocks and minerals for sale and a small scrap heap. About 20 miles south of Wikieup (another unique town name), the rattlesnake capital of Arizona. The town was abandoned in 2005, tried to revive in 2008-09 and once again was abandoned in the Spring of 2011.

The Town Sign Reads . . .

Town of Nothing, Arizona. Founded 1977. Elevation 3269 ft.
“The staunch citizens of Nothing are full of Hope, Faith and Believe in the work ethic. Thru-the-years-these dedicated people had faith in Nothing, hoped for Nothing, worked at Nothing, for Nothing”.

Rough and Ready, California

Rough and Ready, California (Nevada County) is located west of Grass Valley, California and hosts a population of less than a 1,000.

The first settlement is this town was in the fall of 1849 by a mining company from Wisconsin known as the Rough and Ready Company. The company was named after General Taylor (nicknamed “Old Rough and Ready”) who had been elected the 12th President of the United States. The post office was established in 1851 and closed in 1855, 1913 and again from 1942-48.

Here is the interesting part of history for this town! Rough and Ready seceded itself from the Union and then voted itself back in. The town at the time was populated mostly by miners from Wisconsin. The secession was due to a new tax on new mining claims and the prohibition of alcohol. The town was also at odds with the U.S. Postal Service who wanted the town’s named changed to Rough or Ready. The town voted itself back in because the town wanted to celebrate Independence Day (no longer entitled when the town seceded from the Union).

Today you can see the Blacksmith Shop (1850s), the Odd Fellows Hall (1854) and the Old Toll House. The State of California honored the town as a Historic Landmark.

Nimrod, Minnesota

Nimrod, Minnesota (Wadena County). The town’s population of 69 makes it one of the smallest incorporated towns in Minnesota. Now do not get too excited here because the town is named after the Biblical Nimrod and not a person acting like a you know what – ha! Maybe that is how the saying got its start – who knows! 

Knockemstiff, Ohio

Knockemstiff, Ohio (Ross County). The town is also known as Glenn Shade or Shady Glenn. A Ghost Town that sits southwest of Chillicothe.

A town with multiple stories on how it got its unusual name. #1 Big brawl broke out in the town’s early days. #2 Wife goes to preacher and tells him that her husband is cheating on her. The preacher’s advice “Knock ’em stiff”. #3 A slang term for moonshining. #4 Title of a collection of short stories written by Ross County native, Donald Ray Pollock.

Weird & Bizarre

Yreka Zzyzx, California (San Bernardino County). This town was formerly known as Camp Soda or Soda Springs as well as the former site of the Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa. Today it is the site of the Desert Studies Center, Lake Tuendae and a refuge habitat. To get a sense of direction this town is located about 100 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. Basically in the middle of nowhere and probably a great place to get away from it all – ha!

Here’s a Fun Question! What State Did You Find Hard to Spell? M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I!

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